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(3.802-824) She spake, and brought a casket wherein lay many drugs, some for healing, others for killing, and placing it upon her knees she wept. And she drenched her bosom with ceaseless tears, which flowed in torrents as she sat, bitterly bewailing her own fate. And she longed to choose a murderous drug to taste it, and now she was loosening the bands of the casket eager to take it forth, unhappy maid! But suddenly a deadly fear of hateful Hades came upon her heart. And long she held back in speechless horror, and all around her thronged visions of the pleasing cares of life. She thought of all the delightful things that are among the living, she thought of her joyous playmates, as a maiden will; and the sun grew sweeter than ever to behold, seeing that in truth her soul yearned for all. And she put the casket again from off her knees, all changed by the prompting of Hera, and no more did she waver in purpose; but longed for the rising dawn to appear quickly, that she might give him the charms to work the spell as she had promised, and meet him face to face. And often did she loosen the bolts of her door, to watch for the faint gleam: and welcome to her did the dayspring shed its light, and folk began to stir throughout the city.

802     ̂Ἠ, καὶ φωριαμὸν μετεκίαθεν, ᾗ ἔνι πολλὰ
803 φάρμακά οἱ, τὰ μὲν ἐσθλά, τὰ δὲ ῥαιστήρι', ἔκειτο.
804 ἐνθεμένη δ' ἐπὶ γούνατ' ὀδύρετο. δεῦε δὲ κόλπους
805 ἄλληκτον δακρύοισι, τὰ δ' ἔρρεεν ἀσταγὲς αὔτως,
806 αἴν' ὀλοφυρομένης τὸν ἑὸν μόρον. ἵετο δ' ἥγε
807 φάρμακα λέξασθαι θυμοφθόρα, τόφρα πάσαιτο.
808 ἤδη καὶ δεσμοὺς ἀνελύετο φωριαμοῖο,
809 ἐξελέειν μεμαυῖα, δυσάμμορος. ἀλλά οἱ ἄφνω
810 δεῖμ' ὀλοὸν στυγεροῖο κατὰ φρένας ἦλθ' Ἀίδαο.
811 ἔσχετο δ' ἀμφασίῃ δηρὸν χρόνον, ἀμφὶ δὲ πᾶσαι
812 θυμηδεῖς βιότοιο μεληδόνες ἰνδάλλοντο.
813 μνήσατο μὲν τερπνῶν, ὅσ' ἐνὶ ζωοῖσι πέλονται,
814 μνήσαθ' ὁμηλικίης περιγηθέος, οἷά τε κούρη:
815 καί τέ οἱ ἠέλιος γλυκίων γένετ' εἰσοράασθαι,
816 ἢ πάρος, εἰ ἐτεόν γε νόῳ ἐπεμαίεθ' ἕκαστα.
817 καὶ τὴν μέν ῥα πάλιν σφετέρων ἀποκάτθετο γούνων,
818 Ἥρης ἐννεσίῃσι μετάτροπος, οὐδ' ἔτι βουλὰς
819 ἄλλῃ δοιάζεσκεν: ἐέλδετο δ' αἶψα φανῆναι
820 ἠῶ τελλομένην, ἵνα οἱ θελκτήρια δοίη
821 φάρμακα συνθεσίῃσι, καὶ ἀντήσειεν ἐς ὠπήν.
822 πυκνὰ δ' ἀνὰ κληῖδας ἑῶυ λύεσκε θυράων,
823 αἴγλην σκεπτομένη: τῇ δ' ἀσπάσιον βάλε φέγγος
824 Ἠριγενής, κίνυντο δ' ἀνὰ πτολίεθρον ἕκαστοι.

(3.825-827) Then Argus bade his brothers remain there to learn the maiden's mind and plans, but himself turned back and went to the ship.

825     Ἔνθα κασιγνήτους μὲν ἔτ' αὐτόθι μεῖναι ἀνώγει
826 Ἄργος, ἵνα φράζοιντο νόον καὶ μήδεα κούρης:
827 αὐτὸς δ' αὖτ' ἐπὶ νῆα κίεν προπάροιθε λιασθείς.

(3.828-890) Now soon as ever the maiden saw the light of dawn, with her hands she gathered up her golden tresses which were floating round her shoulders in careless disarray, and bathed her tear-stained cheeks, and made her skin shine with ointment sweet as nectar; and she donned a beautiful robe, fitted with well-bent clasps, and above on her head, divinely fair, she threw a veil gleaming like silver. And there, moving to and fro in the palace, she trod the ground forgetful of the heaven-sent woes thronging round her and of others that were destined to follow. And she called to her maids. Twelve they were, who lay during the night in the vestibule of her fragrant chamber, young as herself, not yet sharing the bridal couch, and she bade them hastily yoke the mules to the chariot to bear her to the beauteous shrine of Hecate. Thereupon the handmaids were making ready the chariot; and Medea meanwhile took from the hollow casket a charm which men say is called the charm of Prometheus. If a man should anoint his body therewithal, having first appeased the Maiden, the only-begotten, with sacrifice by night, surely that man could not be wounded by the stroke of bronze nor would he flinch from blazing fire; but for that day he would prove superior both in prowess and in might. It shot up first- born when the ravening eagle on the rugged flanks of Caucasus let drip to the earth the blood-like ichor of tortured Prometheus. And its flower appeared a cubit above ground in colour like the Corycian crocus, rising on twin stalks; but in the earth the root was like newly-cut flesh. The dark juice of it, like the sap of a mountain-oak, she had gathered in a Caspian shell to make the charm withal, when she had first bathed in seven ever-flowing streams, and had called seven times on Brimo, nurse of youth, night-wandering Brimo, of the underworld, queen among the dead, -- in the gloom of night, clad in dusky garments. And beneath, the dark earth shook and bellowed when the Titanian root was cut; and the son of Iapetus himself groaned, his soul distraught with pain. And she brought the charm forth and placed it in the fragrant band which engirdled her, just beneath her bosom, divinely fair. And going forth she mounted the swift chariot, and with her went two handmaidens on each side. And she herself took the reins and in her right hand the well-fashioned whip, and drove through the city; and the rest, the handmaids, laid their hands on the chariot behind and ran along the broad highway; and they kilted up their light robes above their white knees. And even as by the mild waters of Parthenius, or after bathing in the river Amnisus, Leto's daughter stands upon her golden chariot and courses over the hills with her swift-footed roes, to greet from afar some richly-steaming hecatomb; and with her come the nymphs in attendance, gathering, some at the spring of Amnisus itself, others by the glens and many-fountained peaks; and round her whine and fawn the beasts cowering as she moves along: thus they sped through the city; and on both sides the people gave way, shunning the eyes of the royal maiden. But when she had left the city's well paved streets, and was approaching the shrine as she drove over the plains, then she alighted eagerly from the smooth- running chariot and spake as follows among her maidens:

828     Ἡ δ' ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ πρῶτα φαεινομένην ἴδεν ἠῶ
829 παρθενική, ξανθὰς μὲν ἀνήψατο χερσὶν ἐθείρας,
830 αἵ οἱ ἀτημελίῃ καταειμέναι ἠερέθοντο,
831 αὐσταλέας δ' ἔψησε παρηίδας: αὐτὰρ ἀλοιφῇ
832 νεκταρέῃ φαιδρύνετ' ἐπὶ χρόα: δῦνε δὲ πέπλον
833 καλόν, ἐυγνάμπτοισιν ἀρηρέμενον περόνῃσιν:
834 ἀμβροσίῳ δ' ἐφύπερθε καρήατι βάλλε καλύπτρην
835 ἀργυφέην. αὐτοῦ δὲ δόμοις ἔνι δινεύουσα
836 στεῖβε πέδον λήθῃ ἀχέων, τά οἱ ἐν ποσὶν ἦεν
837 θεσπέσι', ἄλλα τ' ἔμελλεν ἀεξήσεσθαι ὀπίσσω.
838 κέκλετο δ' ἀμφιπόλοις, αἵ οἱ δυοκαίδεκα πᾶσαι
839 ἐν προδόμῳ θαλάμοιο θυώδεος ηὐλίζοντο
840 ἥλικες, οὔπω λέκτρα σὺν ἀνδράσι πορσύνουσαι,
841 ἐσσυμένως οὐρῆας ὑποζεύξασθαι ἀπήνῃ,
842 οἵ κέ μιν εἰς Ἑκάτης περικαλλέα νηὸν ἄγοιεν.
843 ἔνθ' αὖτ' ἀμφίπολοι μὲν ἐφοπλίζεσκον ἀπήνην:
844 ἡ δὲ τέως γλαφυρῆς ἐξείλετο φωριαμοῖο
845 φάρμακον, ὅ ῥά τέ φασι Προμήθειον καλέεσθαι.
846 τῷ εἴ κ' ἐννυχίοισιν ἀρεσσάμενος θυέεσσιν
847 Κούρην μουνογένειαν ἑὸν δέμας ἰκμαίνοιτο,
848 ἦ τ' ἂν ὅγ' οὔτε ῥηκτὸς ἔοι χαλκοῖο τυπῇσιν,
849 οὔτε κεν αἰθομένῳ πυρὶ εἰκάθοι: ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀλκῇ
850 λωίτερος κεῖν' ἦμαρ ὁμῶς κάρτει τε πέλοιτο.
851 πρωτοφυὲς τόγ' ἀνέσχε καταστάξαντος ἔραζε
852 αἰετοῦ ὠμηστέω κνημοῖς ἔνι Καυκασίοισιν
853 αἱματόεντ' ἰχῶρα Προμηθῆος μογεροῖο.
854 τοῦ δ' ἤτοι ἄνθος μὲν ὅσον πήχυιον ὕπερθεν
855 χροιῇ Κωρυκίῳ ἴκελον κρόκῳ ἐξεφαάνθη,
856 καυλοῖσιν διδύμοισιν ἐπήορον: ἡ δ' ἐνὶ γαίῃ
857 σαρκὶ νεοτμήτῳ ἐναλιγκίη ἔπλετο ῥίζα.
858 τῆς οἵην τ' ἐν ὄρεσσι κελαινὴν ἰκμάδα φηγοῦ
859 Κασπίῃ ἐν κόχλῳ ἀμήσατο φαρμάσσεσθαι,
860 ἑπτὰ μὲν ἀενάοισι λοεσσαμένη ὑδάτεσσιν,
861 ἑπτάκι δὲ Βριμὼ κουροτρόφον ἀγκαλέσασα,
862 Βριμὼ νυκτιπόλον, χθονίην, ἐνέροισιν ἄνασσαν,
863 λυγαίῃ ἐνὶ νυκτί, σὺν ὀρφναίοις φαρέεσσιν.
864 μυκηθμῷ δ' ὑπένερθεν ἐρεμνὴ σείετο γαῖα,
865 ῥίζης τεμνομένης Τιτηνίδος: ἔστενε δ' αὐτὸς
866 Ἰαπετοῖο πάις ὀδύνῃ πέρι θυμὸν ἀλύων.
867 τό ῥ' ἥγ' ἐξανελοῦσα θυώδεϊ κάτθετο μίτρῃ,
868 ἥ τέ οἱ ἀμβροσίοισι περὶ στήθεσσιν ἔερτο.
869 ἐκ δὲ θύραζε κιοῦσα θοῆς ἐπεβήσατ' ἀπήνης:
870 σὺν δέ οἱ ἀμφίπολοι δοιαὶ ἑκάτερθεν ἔβησαν.
871 αὐτὴ δ' ἡνί' ἔδεκτο καὶ εὐποίητον ἱμάσθλην
872 δεξιτερῇ, ἔλαεν δὲ δι' ἄστεος: αἱ δὲ δὴ ἄλλαι
873 ἀμφίπολοι, πείρινθος ἐφαπτόμεναι μετόπισθεν,
874 τρώχων εὐρεῖαν κατ' ἀμαξιτόν: ἂν δὲ χιτῶνας
875 λεπταλέους λευκῆς ἐπιγουνίδος ἄχρις ἄειρον.
876 οἵη δὲ λιαροῖσιν ἐφ' ὕδασι Παρθενίοιο,
877 ἠὲ καὶ Ἀμνισοῖο λοεσσαμένη ποταμοῖο
878 χρυσείοις Λητωὶς ἐφ' ἅρμασιν ἑστηυῖα
879 ὠκείαις κεμάδεσσι διεξελάσῃσι κολώνας,
880 τηλόθεν ἀντιόωσα πολυκνίσου ἑκατόμβης:
881 τῇ δ' ἅμα νύμφαι ἕπονται ἀμορβάδες, αἱ μὲν ἐπ' αὐτῆς
882 ἀγρόμεναι πηγῆς Ἀμνισίδος, ἂν δὲ δὴ ἄλλαι
883 ἄλσεα καὶ σκοπιὰς πολυπίδακας: ἀμφὶ δὲ θῆρες
884 κνυζηθμῷ σαίνουσιν ὑποτρομέοντες ἰοῦσαν:
885 ὧς αἵγ' ἐσσεύοντο δι' ἄστεος: ἀμφὶ δὲ λαοὶ
886 εἶκον, ἀλευάμενοι βασιληίδος ὄμματα κούρης.
887 αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πόλιος μὲν ἐυδμήτους λίπ' ἀγυιάς,
888 νηὸν δ' εἰσαφίκανε διὲκ πεδίων ἐλάουσα,
889 δὴ τότ' ἐυτροχάλοιο κατ' αὐτόθι βήσατ' ἀπήνης
890 ἱεμένη, καὶ τοῖα μετὰ δμωῇσιν ἔειπεν:

(3.891-911) "Friends, verily have I sinned greatly and took no heed not to go among the stranger-folk 1 who roam over our land. The whole city is smitten with dismay; wherefore no one of the women who formerly gathered here day by day has now come hither. But since we have come and no one else draws near, come, let us satisfy our souls without stint with soothing song, and when we have plucked the fair flowers amid the tender grass, that very hour will we return. And with many a gift shall ye reach home this very day, if ye will gladden me with this desire of mine. For Argus pleads with me, also Chalciope herself; but this that ye hear from me keep silently in your hearts, lest the tale reach my father's ears. As for yon stranger who took on him the task with the oxen, they bid me receive his gifts and rescue him from the deadly contest. And I approved their counsel, and I have summoned him to come to my presence apart from his comrades, so that we may divide the gifts among ourselves if he bring them in his hands, and in return may give him a baleful charm. But when he comes, do ye stand aloof."

891      "̂Ὠ φίλαι, ἦ μέγα δή τι παρήλιτον, οὐδ' ἐνόησα
892 μὴ ἴμεν ἀλλοδαποῖσι μετ' ἀνδράσιν, οἵ τ' ἐπὶ γαῖαν
893 ἡμετέρην στρωφῶσιν. ἀμηχανίῃ βεβόληται
894 πᾶσα πόλις: τὸ καὶ οὔτις ἀνήλυθε δεῦρο γυναικῶν
895 τάων, αἳ τὸ πάροιθεν ἐπημάτιαι ἀγέρονται.
896 ἀλλ' ἐπεὶ οὖν ἱκόμεσθα, καὶ οὔ νύ τις ἄλλος ἔπεισιν,
897 εἰ δ' ἄγε μολπῇ θυμὸν ἀφειδείως κορέσωμεν
898 μειλιχίῃ, τὰ δὲ καλὰ τερείνης ἄνθεα ποίης
899 λεξάμεναι τότ' ἔπειτ' αὐτὴν ἀπονισσόμεθ' ὥρην.
900 καὶ δέ κε σὺν πολέεσσιν ὀνείασιν οἴκαδ' ἵκοισθε
901 ἤματι τῷ, εἴ μοι συναρέσσετε τήνδε μενοινήν.
902 Ἄργος γάρ μ' ἐπέεσσι παρατρέπει, ὧς δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ
903 Χαλκιόπη: τὰ δὲ σῖγα νόῳ ἔχετ' εἰσαΐουσαι
904 ἐξ ἐμέθεν, μὴ πατρὸς ἐς οὔατα μῦθος ἵκηται.
905 τὸν ξεῖνόν με κέλονται, ὅτις περὶ βουσὶν ὑπέστη,
906 δῶρ' ἀποδεξαμένην ὀλοῶν ῥύσασθαι ἀέθλων.
907 αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ τὸν μῦθον ἐπῄνεον, ἠδὲ καὶ αὐτὸν
908 κέκλομαι εἰς ὠπὴν ἑτάρων ἄπο μοῦνον ἱκέσθαι,
909 ὄφρα τὰ μὲν δασόμεσθα μετὰ σφίσιν, εἴ κεν ὀπάσσῃ
910 δῶρα φέρων, τῷ δ' αὖτε κακώτερον ἄλλο πόρωμεν
911 φάρμακον. ἀλλ' ἀπονόσφι πέλεσθέ μοι, εὖτ' ἂν ἵκηται."

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